Intent attributions and aggression: a study of children and their parents.


This research aimed to further clarify the relationship between children's self-reported hostile intent attributions (for ambiguous instrumental or relational provocations) and peer-reported aggression (physical and relational) in 500 fourth-grade children. In addition, we examined whether parents' intent attributions might predict children's intent attributions and aggression. Both parents (mothers and fathers) in 393 families completed intent attribution questionnaires. Results showed, consistent with past research, that boys' instrumental intent attributions were related to physical aggression. Children's relational intent attributions, however, were not associated with relational aggression. Contrary to expectations, most children responded with hostile intent attributions for relational provocations. Finally, in regard to parent-child connections, maternal intent attributions correlated with children's intent attributions whereas paternal intent attributions corresponded with children's relational aggression.

DOI: 10.1007/s10802-007-9211-7

Cite this paper

@article{Nelson2008IntentAA, title={Intent attributions and aggression: a study of children and their parents.}, author={David A Nelson and Carianne Mitchell and Chongming Yang}, journal={Journal of abnormal child psychology}, year={2008}, volume={36 6}, pages={793-806} }